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"Do You Mark Your Reference Books?" Topic

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15 Oct 2022 7:33 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian29 Jul 2021 8:47 p.m. PST

If I looked at the books in your reference library, would I know they belonged to you?

* yes, I put my name in them
* yes, I stamp them with my identity
* no

Chimpy29 Jul 2021 10:03 p.m. PST

Yes I put my name in them. But no more.

And I'm not buying any more since the advent of the internet.

advocate30 Jul 2021 12:33 a.m. PST


GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 1:18 a.m. PST

Yes, I put my name in them. But no more.

Yes, sometimes with a post-it note.

Striker30 Jul 2021 2:39 a.m. PST


rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 2:55 a.m. PST

No. Had in past, but decided not to more recently. Hate to write in a book in any way.

Raynman Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 4:32 a.m. PST

No. Not a fan of writing in books.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 4:47 a.m. PST

No – never, not a mark in them.

A few years ago, my favorite local book store had over 100 Osprey books in the free bin. I picked out about 5 of them and then looked inside. Every one had massive amounts of underlined text. I posted here about it under the title "Joy turns to ash".

Inch High Guy30 Jul 2021 4:47 a.m. PST

Never. When a new book arrives, I protect the dustjacket with a BroadArt cover. If the book is used I clean / repair the dustjacket before installing the cover.

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 5:03 a.m. PST

No sir.

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 5:20 a.m. PST

Yes, every one of them has dozens of little book marks poking out of the top. All marked with things like "Par 3 – Ammo usage", "Line 17-22, route march", "Pic, CoA H.St.F, Crecy". all to aid and speed up my searches.

olicana30 Jul 2021 6:58 a.m. PST

Only the ones signed by their authors, you know the kind of thing, "To James….Happy Reading….", etc.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 7:50 a.m. PST


BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 8:23 a.m. PST


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 8:53 a.m. PST


Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 9:14 a.m. PST


Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 9:32 a.m. PST

Long ago I did with my AD&D books, putting my name inside the cover.
I don't do that any more.

Except for text for school/college, I've never marked up any books that weren't workbooks, coloring books, and the like. I do use Post-it notes and tabs inside rulebooks as pointers to important passages and charts, or with clarifications noted.

Guess it was too long instilled in me not to "damage" a book. But really, if it's my book which I won't be giving or selling, why shouldn't I make margin notes in it? That's what the great scholars of long ago all did.

Cerdic30 Jul 2021 1:14 p.m. PST

Do I mark them? Yes, I score them for technical expertise and artistic expression…

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 4:13 p.m. PST

No, but I've seriously thought about doing it.


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 5:58 p.m. PST

I grew up with a different message for each of the two main types of books: the first, books that are to be preserved for religious, sentimental, aesthetic, or other reasons (like because they belong to someone else), and the second, books that are tools.

So, e.g., my King James Bible and Bhagavad Gita are pretty marked up from when I studied them in college, and my inexpensive Lovecraft and Cherryh and other paperbacks don't even have ex libris labels.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2021 8:35 p.m. PST

I do, but with office supplies like repositionable bookmarks and removable tabs. Nothing permanent.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 6:29 a.m. PST

Only the ones signed by their authors, you know the kind of thing, "To James….Happy Reading

My thinking exactly.

Red358402 Aug 2021 9:41 a.m. PST

No…because I'm not a monster…

jefritrout08 Aug 2021 4:04 p.m. PST

Reference Books – No

Rule Books – Absolutely. I've had too many "walk away" during conventions.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2021 4:21 p.m. PST

No way. Some are hard to find now and worth more unmarked. Although I am unlikely to sell.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2021 3:30 p.m. PST

Rules books and charts yes. Reference books no. Many of mine are rare, collectable and expensive. So I don't want to ruin the value by writing in them. I don't do it in my Osprey type books either.

If I did want to put some recognition of ownership in one of my more valued books, it would be a classic book plate. Some books are more valuable just by the venture of its provenance. To see a well known book collectors plate affixed to the inside of a book can up its value. But I am not one of those so no bookplates or writing in my books.

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